I hope that Part 1 of “Why Can’t I Lose Weight” got you thinking about ways you can start making changes to be more successful with your weight loss. The following are some more things you should take into consideration:
Be Kind to Yourself
Do you beat yourself up when you’ve eaten something “bad”? Do you call yourself names, like “fat pig” or “weak”? Such negative self-talk only makes you feel bad about yourself, which in turn leads to more eating (emotional eating) to artificially boost your mood. And thus the vicious cycle continues. I realize it’s hard to break that bad habit of negative name-calling, but it is something that needs to be addressed. Every time you berate yourself, you have to quickly find something positive to say about yourself. Over time, catching yourself getting ready to fire off a personal insult will become easier, so that you can prevent the words from coming out. And while you’re at it, practice giving yourself a compliment when you catch yourself doing something positive. Treat yourself with respect and affection.
Change the Way You Move
You know you have to exercise to lose weight and to keep it off. You also know that cardiovascular exercise is the key to burning calories. So you hit the treadmill or elliptical machine and off you go. While that’s a great calorie-torcher, your body quickly learns to adapt to that routine and eventually burns fewer calories at it. That’s why I always encourage people to cross-train – mix in different kinds of activities and vary your intensities – and definitely include weight training. No, lifting weights will not cause you to look like the Hulk; you just don’t have enough testosterone to have that happen. What weight lifting will do for your weight loss and maintenance is stimulate your metabolism 24/7. When you apply force to the muscle, you create micro-tears in it. As the muscle repairs itself and grows (think about it getting a more toned appearance) it requires more calories to function. Thus your metabolism has increased. Another exercise that has been linked to healthy weight is yoga. Yoga practitioners have a deeper awareness of their body and are more mindful of what they are eating. Regular yoga practice can also smooth out the brain waves and calm the nervous system, allowing you to make better food choices. Try to include at least one mindful yoga session per week.
Hidden Causes of Weight Gain
Sometimes our weight struggles are compounded by what we can’t see. Things like hormone imbalances (thyroid, adrenal, female hormones, neurotransmitters), food sensitivities, and toxinscan indirectly impact your weight loss struggles. Knowing that your thyroid gland controls your metabolism, you should get it checked by an endocrinologist. If it’s underperforming (hypothyroidism), your metabolism is slow, making it more difficult to lose weight. When neurotransmitters, like serotonin, are deficient, your body craves foods, like starchy and sugary carbs to increase those levels in the brain. Toxins in food and the environment can affect your thyroid function. Choosing natural cleaning products and buying organic and hormone-free food can help. And identifying any food sensitivities can absolutely help you lose weight. When you are sensitive to a particular food your body treats it as an allergen which creates an inflammatory response in the body. If you eliminate that trigger, then you allow your body to rest and heal itself and begin to focus on the process of losing weight. Food sensitivities are very individualized, so just telling you to stop eating all wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, and sugar (the most common triggers) would be irresponsible. Your best bet is to get tested for food sensitivities by an allergist or a Registered Dietitian who specializes in food sensitivities.
As you can now see, losing weight is much more than “calories in, calories out.” If you need one-on-one help formulating an Action Plan, you should seek out a Registered Dietitian who is also a Health or Wellness Coach. Good Luck!